Search Intensifies For Missing Expert Climber

PITKIN COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – More resources have been added to the search for a Marine veteran and expert climber who has been missing for more than a week in Colorado’s high country.

David Cook is from Albuquerque. He has been described as an expert climber and enthusiastic outdoorsman.

Dave Cook (credit: Pitkin County)

Dave Cook (credit: Pitkin County)

“It’s rugged, it’s steep,” said Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office Director of Operations Alex Burchetta. “To be up there right now, it’s not easy.”

Cook, 49, planned to summit Pyramid Peak and the North and South Maroon Peaks near Aspen last week but never returned.

“It’s a vast wilderness … it’s a well-traveled trail, but it’s not an extremely well-traveled trail that goes up to the peak,” Burchetta said.

Search crews from several counties and Flight For Life along with the Colorado National Guard were assisting in the search.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

“We don’t have anything to believe that this is anything but a missing hiker,” Burchetta said. “We’d be remiss if we didn’t do our job and follow up on the other aspects as well.”

The search didn’t start until last Thursday and weather hampered the search on Friday and Saturday. Parts of the search area are covered in snow.

“The searchers are out there doing the best that they can. They’re all volunteers … they’ve been doing this for almost seven days now … there’s an emotional toll that it takes … it’s difficult,” Burchetta said.


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